First of all, I am NOT asking for money or donations. I only ask that you read my situation and signal boost this post. It will make more sense in a minute. A couple of mouse clicks isn’t asking for much!

This year my sister will be turning 15 years old, and in my country this is a very special and important age for young women to reach. A quinceañera is the moment when girls feel like a princess and are surrounded by all of their loved ones. They are given well wishes and advised on the path to womanhood by the smiling faces of friends and family as they transition to a new chapter in their life. It is not only a party but an important cultural aspect for everyone involved. The wiki article describes it as the following:

Quinceañera (pronounced: [kin.se.aˈɲe.ɾa]; feminine form of “fifteen-year-old”), also called fiesta de quince años, fiesta de quinceañera, quince años or simply quince, is the celebration of a girl’s fifteenth birthday in parts of Latin America and elsewhere in communities of people from Latin America. This birthday is celebrated differently from any other as it marks the transition from childhood to young womanhood.

My sister, Ashley, is a super quiet girl that has always been overlooked by everyone. She has always been overshadowed by our brother and I in the eyes of our relatives and that’s not right! Ash loves animals and music — her dream is to one day make a career for herself in the music industry — She is always ready with a hug for when we’re down and takes care of us without a single complaint. She loves to bake but she loves seeing people’s smiles after trying her pastries even more. She does not go out of her way to upset anyone and she avoids conflict. Sadly she has a habit of keeping her feelings bottled up in fear of making others worry.

She has been dreaming of this moment for over ten years now and we as a family planned to give her everything we could to make it an experience that she will never forget. We all love her so much and it pained us so bad when we had to tell her the bad news. Her response haunts us to this day, she smiled and said “It’s okay! I didn’t need a silly party anyway.” because we know how excited she was when my fiesta rolled around and how her eyes sparkled at all of the special dresses, asking to let her learn the waltzes that my damas were learning. Ash is an angel.

Quinces are not just a day or one week party, they take months of planning and even years of saving up money to have everything come together. It was rough, but we really believed we were prepared.. That is until our father’s Polycystic Kidney Disease developed into the worst possible thing: kidney failure. Now he is unable to work and must attend dialysis three times a week. Our mother is the only ‘steady’ income that we have at the moment and she is not able to work full time due to our father’s many doctor appointments and tri-weekly dialysis trips, the doctors are also prepping for his kidney removal surgery on July 1st. He needs a kidney transplant before he is able to return to the workforce and because PKD is an incurable hereditary disease neither of my siblings or I are able to donate a kidney in fear that it will be us in 10 or 20 years with cyst filled insides. 

Due to this obstacle appearing in our life, all the money we had saved up for her coming of age was used to pay hospital bills, medicine, groceries, utilities, and my college tuition that had all accumulated over the past three months of unemployment. We are no longer able to give her the one thing she has always dreamed of.. 

Not yet giving up, we looked for possibilities in Mexican and Hispanic newspapers and other media outlets. One day by chance our mother turned on the radio to this station as the host announced that they would be doing a Quince Contest where young women would be given the opportunity to win an all expenses paid party! Ecstatic, Ashley signed up and went through interviews and paperwork. Her enthusiasm and perseverance has brought her all the way to the top three hopefuls.

This is where you come in! Please go to the website’s quince poll found here and vote for my sister (Ashley Salazar) to win the quinceañera of her dreams! The website is in Spanish but the voting page is easy enough to understand. You are only allowed to vote once so please signal boost this post after reading and voting. We would all really appreciate it!

I am all too happy to listen to any questions or comments you may have about quinces in general, my sister, pkd, and/or this contest. If you could please direct them to my ask box.

UPDATE 6/30, 8 am CST: It seems the server they used to host the poll is having some issues so it might be best to wait a bit and see if the error is fixed. I will update this post again once the issue is resolved. Thank you everyone who has shown interest in helping Ashley! 

UPDATE 6/30, 8:10 am CST: Tumblr user deanon sent me this tidbit: i tested with a friend where i loaded the poll results, had her vote (and the page crashed again) and then refreshed the poll results immediately after and it APPEARS to have registered the vote anyways! So votes are still coming in, at least. So no one’s vote is going to waste!

UPDATE 6/30, 9:15 am CST: You can check the results here.

UPDATE 6/30, 6:20 pm CST: The poll seems to have closed now. Thank you everyone for taking the time to vote, we will update this post once we hear from the radio station. We are so very thankful to everyone for their votes and the dozens of kind and supporting messages we have received these last few hours. Thank you so much!!!

UPDATE 7/1, 1:50 am CST: The radio station has not made an announcement yet so we are still waiting to see what happens.

UPDATE 7/1, 8:05 pm CST: The radio station has recently made this facebook post and similar ones for the other contestants. For those that feel comfortable and have a facebook, please support us by liking the picture linked above!

The winner will be decided on Friday, July 4th and the party will be on Sunday, July 27th.

UPDATE 7/3, 5 pm CST: Thank you so much everyone for your support! We did it!